It’s been two weeks since I sat in my shadow, dove deep while consciously and intentionally releasing some deep wounds I have been carrying for years my dear readers. This week in my apprenticeship for my shamanic healing work, we talked about boundaries both ethically and personally. I realized again just how serious the work of energy healing is and how my approach to my own life has shifted in the past few months.
I reread some of my posts from the start of 2020 when I first set my mind to learning the art of shamanism. It truly does suit my spiritual being and my soul’s purpose. I now understand much more about myself and God’s plan for me. It’s created a very freeing yet grounded place simultaneously. It has had me reconsider however how I interact with others both physically and emotionally.
As usual I have been sitting in quiet contemplation and asking Spirit how best to proceed. My main channel has always been my writing, the messages come through clearest when I put pen to paper and allow free flow writing to spill out. At times like this my mind screams at me,”I must know” while my heart, which is always the guiding force whispers, “You already do”. The answer is love. Trust what is being presented and surrender the need to control. Just love Maria, yourself first and others will follow🙏
I have spent many years being numb, deaf to my own inner guidance, my soul’s intentions for me. I’ve written before about this concept but it bears repeating now. We are multidimensional spiritual beings having a human experience. At times in this past year my spirit has guided me to places my human side didn’t feel comfortable embodying yet. Then it’s like a game of tag while my human self plays catch up to my spiritual self. Integrating it all to include the voices of my inner child, ego and higher consciousness or highest self has been an emotional roller coaster for me. Just when I’m ready to let go, Universe says “ok, here’s a test” and throws a big life lesson at me to see which direction I choose to go.
This week my partner and I finally booked his plane ticket here. I then bore witness to how he had to proceed with this major life change, getting his personal issues in order. That is a new boundary for me. I have always wanted to protect him, shield him from pain yet I have realized that he has his own journey to live. The issues he has faced, steps he has taken to heal and help himself astound me. Everything truly does unfold in God’s time and only He can mold us in the ways that are best for us, in that Divine timing.
I’m reminded of what my dear friend and Divine Interventionist Joel Adifon told me when we first started working together in April. He advised me on how much patience I would need to employ, the staring role it would have in my next steps and healing journey. Today I know exactly what he was referring to. Not only am I to remain patient with myself but I must yield to meddling in other’s paths for them to be able to execute their own journey’s and God’s will for them.
I said, “Yes God, I trust you and I love you for the gifts you’ve bestowed upon me. I’m grateful for the strength and understanding you’ve provided for me in order to survive my darkest days”. Then God conspired with the Universe and said, let’s see how much she really does love and trust. Cue the past four months in my life. Losing my job and place of living yet gaining a much deeper sense of self and purpose while finally being reunited with my son Ty. God has also provided a way to keep me financially afloat during these months so that I could see all these changes to fruition. My grateful heart is overflowing with thanks and praise. Thank you God🙏
As we head into this holiday weekend, full moon AND lunar eclipse…I’m again sitting here in the stillness of my heart ready for the next chapter. I’m thankful for all that I have learned, especially the losses for they have showed how strong I have become. Losing things means it’s time to make room for new things, ones that will serve my alignment going forward. I trust in that. The people in my life who support me and love me no matter what. I love them. Mostly, I bow my head in grace for being present to feel all of these blessings and know that the best is still yet to come😉
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Even though the beach is closed, my son and I ventured down here so we could soak up some sun and salt air. Our Universe is in a major retrograde season, six ruling planets are in different positions and boy oh boy have I been feeling the affects! Yesterday in particular was a ride on the ol emotional roller coaster. One I haven’t taken in quite some time.
As with everything, I find myself looking below the surface for the life lesson in every situation. My life has taken another step forward recently, big changes have taken place that are bound to happen when we move to a new environment. Not all of it is awesome and I would be lying if I said there haven’t been some struggles adjusting to things. Mostly I miss my partner and the comfort our companionship provides me. He is my person, my touchstone and the love of my life so living here without him is a huge adjustment. There are times, especially when I am still in meditation that I just burst out in tears.
Yesterday I experienced every feeling under the rainbow and had to force myself to take care of myself by practicing my rituals and selfcare routines of reading, journaling and meditation. My anger hasn’t bubbled up like that in quite sometime. My son and I went for a seven and a half mile trek to the park where they board horses. He rode his bike and I ran. They recently reopened the city parks yet there was nobody there. Unfortunately, the horses weren’t out in the meadows as I had hoped. Being out in nature and observing these beautiful creatures brings me such joy and peace.
I want to let you know my dear readers that we are extremely cautious and safe, wearing masks and social distancing when appropriate. Mostly we haven’t come across any other people while we are out and about. Right now while there is caution tape everywhere here at the beach, there are under ten people spread out either walking along the sidewalk or sitting on benches, like us across the street from the beach. Ty and I both love being outdoors and since the beach is my happy place, I came here to enjoy the energy of being near the ocean.
On a day like this I would normally running into the waves and floating in that gorgeous blue-green water. That is one of my favorite soothing activities and right now my senses could really use a good soak🌊
In the meantime, I’m taking deep breaths and doing what I can to keep calm while the ups and downs of the astral energy have me wanting to pull my hair out at times😜 God is guiding me to focus, breathe, surrender, release and let go of that which I want to instinctively hold onto. Like anything beautiful, we mustn’t hold on too tightly for then its beauty can’t be enjoyed to the fullest. Choosing what to engage my energy and attention in becomes more confusing right now. The best I can do is try to remain as non-judgmental as I can, accept whatever feelings and emotions arise so that I can go with the flow.
I’m highly aware of my own energy these days and I don’t want to do anything to become blocked or stagnant therefore I must allow for space to keep everything copacetic. Practicing yoga, freestyle ballet routines and running are my go to activities. Listening to my favorite music helps me connect to my joy. Keeping little Maria engaged in playful activities like riding my new bike reminds me that being playful helps fuel not only my curiosity for life but my creativity. Spending time with my son is amazingly healing too😁
I had a hard time sleeping last night and I found myself wide awake at 3:30 AM so I wrote this poem highlighting what ghosts retrograde season resurrects for me. Writing always helps me process the most difficult and challenging emotions I feel.
Take good care of yourselves my dear readers, peace, good health, light and lots of love 🥰
In my last post my dear readers, I disclosed how hard of a month April had been for me. I want to write a bit about why exactly I feel this way. After months of contemplation, an insightful deep dive into my soul and a lot of praying I have decided to move back to South Florida. Florida has been a second home to me after New Jersey. While I was born and raised in the Garden State, most of my family has resided in Florida specifically my dear Nana. It’s a bit of a bittersweet move because I’m doing it separately from my partner of seven years.
June 1 2020 my partner and I plan on being reunited and going snorkeling to celebrate our love. I’m blessed to have such an intimate connection with a man who always has my best interests at heart. He truly is the love of my life and I thank God for him every single day for teaching me not only about myself and the world around me but about love. Giving, sacrificing and receiving everything I need perhaps not what I always want to hear, but always what I need. That is love.
I’m thrilled to be taking this long car trip from Dallas to southern Florida with my son Ty. Finally after ten years of living apart we are going to live together! God has finally answered my prayers. We are currently about ten hours from our final destination and it’s been so magical getting to spend this time with him. I’m so proud of the mature, kind and responsible young man he has become. Getting to take this car trip with him has been a fun adventure. Ty looks out for his Mom and I feel our bonding on and over these past two months has brought us even closer which warms my heart exponentially.
This move is sort of a redemption for him because he attempted it first this past August. Then after only a month he decided to move back to Rhode Island. Nobody said being eighteen was easy. He missed his friends and his girlfriend too. This time around we are moving there together. The possibilities are endless, sky’s the limit!!
I can’t complain, Ty’s done most of the driving too! He’s such a careful and safe traveler. Especially doing this during a pandemic. He had to take two flights here and now this nineteen hour long car trip we’re on. Each step of the way, reminding me to wear my mask and wash my hands.
I won’t go into detail but the timing of this move was sped up due to the current situation I was dealing with at my last living arrangement. No, it’s definitely not ideal to move across state lines during a pandemic but rest assured my dear readers I had no choice in that part of it. Everything happens for a reason and despite the timing, moving without my partner and the pandemic….I haven’t felt this free in years!! It’s amazing how differently you can view a situation from the other side of it.
I’m mostly excited to get back to my beloved happy place, the beach!! I can hardly wait to float in the ocean and dig my feet into the sand. Ahhhhhh, paradise for me. I definitely consider myself a beach girl having been raised and living on the coast all of my life, close to a beach too. I spent thirteen years living in Rhode Island during my first marriage and I shared with you here my dear readers about the glorious beach house I resided in there. Whenever I need to bring myself to my happy place in my mind, I always envision a place that is a combination of a Rhode Island beach and a South Florida one. Visualization has been one of my go to tools for relaxation and reducing anxiety for a long time now.
In recognition of the many feelings and emotions that have bubbled up to the surface, I did what I do best. I wrote this poem on Monday, as I sat on a bench at a favorite park of mine that I love to run too. I usually take a break during my run by sitting at this particular spot where I can see the tall skyscrapers of downtown Dallas against the picturesque backdrop that is White Rock Lake. I enjoy watching the birds swim here too. I believe I was a bird in a past life. Lately, their behavior has touched my soul and resonated within me in a profound way.
I’m blessed and fortunate to have made some great friends, learned a lot about myself and resurrected my love for running while living in Dallas these past three years. I don’t like good byes so instead I say see y’all later😉
My dear readers, have you ever woke up to a certain song stuck in your head? I did this morning and the way my mind works I’m always so curious as to where it came from. I grew up with my mother playing a lot of John Denver and American folk music in our house. The song that popped in and kept replaying was “Annie’s song”. That’s still one of my Mother’s favorites and I must admit mine too. Whenever I hear it I want to run through a brighly colored meadow or hike up a mountain. The whimsical visions that are sparked in my mind are so clearly an ode to love and nature. Lately, it’s a love affair with myself and my new found self love Imthat I’m so interested in exploring. I envision myself holding hands with my younger self running through that meadow and the look on the face of that little girl inside me.
Life has a way within its ebbs and flow to present me with what I need to consider more of and work on when it cones to either delving deeper into shadow work or exploring more and caring for my inner child. Lately, it’s the latter I have been being reminded of. I’m not sure if I have published my real name yet on this blog but it’s Maria. My full given birth name is Maria Teresa Pratico. Little Maria has been begging for my attention lately and wants to be nurtured. My legal last name is Swanson and I chose to not change that when I went through my divorce because I wanted my boys to see us as still being a family. Now i choose to use my maiden name because it resonates more within me. The Swanson in me was a robotic force and Pratico is more of my true identity.
After the realization I had in June of the abuse that I suffered it’s like a whole new part of me has been awakened and is demanding my attention. I must tell you my dear readers, my own years of therapy, the countless books and articles I have read on processing emotions has taught me that when our feelings are not properly realized and our emotional moods go unexpressed, over time it creates a real issue that just continues to hold us more and more captive. This is especially true when it comes to trauma, the more we stuff and repress the harder and heavier our bodies get holding onto that energy. That’s what having sessions of EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy has helped me to release. However, there are other ways my inner child wants to be recognized and reparented in order to fully integrate her into my body. In his book, “The body keeps the score,” Bessel van der Kolk writes about unresolved trauma from a neuroscience perspective and explains why traumatized people experience incomprehensible anxiety, inexplicable numbing and intolerable rage, and how trauma impacts concentration, memory, and the ability to form trusting relationships. These are symptoms that our bodies display because it’s been holding onto that energy, trapped in our body.
For so much of my life, I operated in an auto-pilot unconscious state of being. Now it feels like I was almost two separate people. The me before and the me now. I wasn’t awake, I lacked self love, self confidence, I doubted myself in almost every situation and really I can admit I wasn’t really living! I held myself back so much by choosing to focus more on other people’s feelings and emotions, their problems in hopes that if I could fix them I would be loved. Now I know that the only person who can give me the full attention, fulfillment and happiness I crave is me. It’s not an external process and doesn’t come from material things. I feel like I’m really living and in doing so I am living out loud, unapologetically and on purpose. Speaking my mind and my truth in my loudest voice whether or not it makes some people uncomfortable and disagree with me…all of it! If you don’t like it, look away and step out of my way because nobody will become my next excuse for not taking care of myself or stopping me now. At 42 years old, I have stifled myself for far too long and it’s my time to shine!
With it being a new year and a brand new decade, I made a promise with myself to do the things that made me uncomfortable. Right now this includes getting more and more comfortable with uncomforbility. I started recording video confessionals on my social media that I call, Maria’s Musings. I’ve never been a fan of myself in pictures and video because I’m so critical of my looks and my voice. No more!! I even record myself without makeup, dressed in my pajamas or workout clothes. It’s me being me and loving myself every step of the way. You can find me on Instagram @emotionalmusings. I checked off a goal on my vision board too by doing my first poetry slam over the weekend. I performed my poem, “Glimpses” which is a tribute to my dear Nana who is now one of my spirit guides who appears to me as a butterfly🦋
The new me has confused some people in my world and one person in particular is my partner. He gets upset with my new and total focus on myself at times because he is so used to me putting others, like him first. This has created a lot of friction between us. In the last five months we have argued more than the last six and a half years of our entire relationship together! I have disclosed in previous posts that he is also someone living with severe mental illness stemming from traumatic brain injuries and the many concussions he sustained while playing professional football.
Another harsh reality he faces are the facts that have been well publicized about the connection between traumatic brain injuries and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy)which is a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries. The symptoms may include behavioral problems, mood problems, and problems with thinking. These symptoms typically do not begin until years after the injuries. CTE often gets worse over time and can result in dementia.
It’s creates quite a challenge for him as he has watched many players die or commit suicide by shooting themselves in the heart so that their brains can be studied. Recently, he lost another player to suicide and when he told me, the look in his eyes rattled me to my core in a very deep way. Our connection and bond is so strong and to think of losing him in anyway but especially in that way terrifies me! Then I start examining everything he is doing and saying in a more critical way. The empath in me has had to learn how to actively block him so I don’t get caught up in his energy and thoughts.
Lately, it’s all been too much for me and my own regularly shifting fast moving energy collided and had in a way a head on collision with his energy and BAM! Making life decisions based in fear is never a good idea and results in undesirable outcomes. It’s my nature to love and accept others. That must include both myself currently and his reality too. All of that became entirely too much to handle last week. We had a bad blowout that resulted in both of us saying things we didn’t mean and I ended our relationship.
I also allowed this overly active fear and emotional state to spill over into my job as a manager for a dear friend of mine’s boutique. Without going into details, I did something that I shouldn’t have that could of put the business in jeopardy. My emotional state had me not thinking straight when I made this mistake. Then I went further into crash and burn mode by telling her I was quitting and gave my two weeks notice abruptly and without any warning which hurt my girlfriend’s feelings badly. I know now what I did could’ve had irreparable damage to their livelihood and our great friendship. Taking stock of the situation took some serious sole searching on my part. The will to listen and quiet my own fears so that I wasn’t acting so selfishly and considered all sides of the situation. I’m praying for a positive outcome to my apology.
Living in fear is like being backed into a corner, triggering me to feel scared, helplessness and confused just as I did during the abuse I suffered. As I continue to heal, these parts of me are lying dangerously close to the surface and my own current reality. They at times become twisted up and entangled in a way that clouds my decision making and has me wanting to escape. This is by no means an excuse, it’s my reality and I’m addressing it head on.
I want to share with you dear readers the importance of addressing what you need to in life because we only get one shot at living. Life is precious and short. I’m someone who wanted to pull the plug by cutting my own short because living was so painful and I felt the only way out was death. A permanent solution to a temporary problem. Learning to love myself and having the ability to love another person, despite terrifying circumstances shows strength, resilience and most of all courage. Summoning that courage took the abity for me to use pain as a motivator not as a roadblock. I admit, I don’t always make clearheaded decisions concerning my life. I have the tendency to want to blow up my life and throw the towel in and say FUCK IT ALL!
Not giving into these urges is hard for me because my natural tendency has been conditioned to not focus on my own uncomfortable or challenging feelings of fear, anger and sadness. I stuff, numb and dissociate from them just like I did in childhood during the abuse. It was easier to put my mind in another place and numb out. It’s our bodies defense, protecting our brains from the highest levels of anxiety and circuit overload. I now know this coping mechanism no longer serves me and I must change that maladaptive pattern before it continues to wreck havoc in my world today. Following inner compass suits my life and decision making much better!
Choosing to love and remain in love is hard during these fearful moments but if I want to live, I must love. I have also been programmed to find pleasure in pain. I have been noticing that when typing a lot I tend to type live instead of love. That’s what sparked me to start investigating this vital connection between loving and living. In order for me to consistently maintain my happiness, I must choose to love in order to keep living. The abuse is over. The little girl who experienced that rauma is grown. I have learned a better way to live. I can make better choices. When I fall down and make the same mistakes my from past, I can now recognize them and correct them by taking responsibility for my words and actions by choosing to not blow up my life. If it’s one thing I have learned it’s that the grass is never greener.
I choose to accept my partner’s prognosis and conditions because when taking stock of the pros and cons of our relationship, the pros undoubtedly outweigh the cons. More on that in upcoming posts my dear readers. Once I can snap myself back into my body, I can easily recognize this. When I was high in emotion mind, I wrote this poem. Thankfully for me writing is such a great outlet. One I need to rely upon more so I don’t actively allow fear into the driver’s seat unnecessarily.
It’s been an amazing six months of personal growth and accomplishments dear readers. I recently posted a poem of mine on my IG profile under the handle @emotionalmusings (I have reposted it here) that revealed a personal truth. I have purposely held myself back from success for the past 40 years. Why you may be wondering? For fear of failure, for fear of not being good enough and finally because I didn’t believe in myself. It has been a long and winding road for me. One that required lots of twists, turns and quiet self reflection. Ultimately it took losing everything, my sanity, my personal safety and my home for me to discover that in the end love for myself is the only superpower that I needed. Something that was inside me all along, I just wasn’t accessing it!
If someone had told me that being involved in an extremely difficult domestic violence relationship eight years ago would be one of the catalysts for my evolution, I would of never believed them. Getting punched in the face is quite jarring yet it showed me over time that I wasn’t as worthless as I believed myself to be. There are no magic pills, absolute directives or a master plan to figure out one’s purpose here on the journey. I’m among one of the people in life who had to learn these important things the hard way. Perhaps you can relate. Please put your own story in the comments below!
Perhaps it’s my hard headed Calabrese roots, my fierce independent nature or my insatiable curiosity for why things are the way they are that has led me down a more difficult path than most. A dear friend of mine recently stated to me that I always seem to have so much on my plate. That is definitely true. Juggling lots of “life balls” is all that I know and something I have had loads of practice with since I was quite young.
I follow my heart always and air on my emotional side most often over my intellectual understanding of any given situation. One may say I through caution to the wind. I pride myself on leading with my human foot when faced with adversity or confrontation. I love that about myself and the more I choose to follow my heart, the more confident and content I become. It has taken years to gain this inner peace and now that I have discovered it I desire more of it!
The self loathing, self doubt, feelings of inferiority, and uselessness seem light years away now. I have survived some dark years. I firmly believe that without those years I wouldn’t have found my path of enlightenment. I give thanks for that time, I don’t regret it. Important life lessons and poor life choices resulted in some truly brighter days.
I write and post a lot about the need for more of us to show empathy to one another. In my opinion we must become love warriors against hate and evil doers. It’s those people among us that are crying out, in a more negative way, for love and acceptance. Humanity’s fate is under attack. It’s ugly and it evokes fear. I feel it is the root cause for people to in turn act in an ugly way towards each other. Bottom line…..ugliness, fear and hate needs to be challenged. The only recipe for change is love. Love is the only answer my friends.
Love hard, whole heartedly and often. Hate is easy. It takes more courage and faith to choose love over hate. In a real and genuine way, I challenge you to try a little more love in your life. Especially with complete strangers. A bit more empathy will open your heart to more understanding of not only that stranger but for yourself.
Trust me. I am living proof. I have survived, now I am striving. This is what winning looks like😁